motorcycle accident lawyerUtah is a great state to enjoy riding a motorcycle. Unfortunately, during the first half of 2023, there were 462 motorcycle crashes statewide resulting in 22 fatalities, with 13 of those deaths occurring between Memorial Day and the first week of July. If you or your loved one has suffered due to injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident, you are not alone.

A motorcycle accident in Utah can have a huge impact on your life. From physical injuries and medical bills to pain and suffering, your life can change in a moment, causing you and your family extreme distress. However, a qualified personal injury lawyer can help you recover compensation for what you have suffered.

At Siegfried & Jensen, our motorcycle accident attorneys consider all factors of your case to give you the best chance possible at a fair recovery. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation for every one of our clients. Contact us today at (801) 845-9000 or complete our contact form to learn more about your legal options.

Different Kinds of Damages in Utah Injury Cases

In personal injury cases, such as motorcycle accidents, the financial compensation that a victim can recover falls into two distinct categories of damages: economic damages and non-economic damages. The amounts awarded vary depending on how much fault for the accident the parties involved share.

Economic damages are things that are easily quantified, such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Property loss
  • Repair costs
  • Lost income

These types of damages are generally easy to prove and calculate. These are the kinds of damages that insurance companies usually offer in their initial settlements. Non-economic damages are not as easy to calculate, though, since they don’t include an objective “dollar amount.”

“Pain and suffering” damages can be included in settlements. This legal term refers to various kinds of physical and emotional pain that victims suffer due to their accidents.

What Constitutes Pain and Suffering Damages

Pain and suffering can mean many different things depending on your circumstances following your accident. To receive pain and suffering compensation, you need to show that your life was significantly changed due to the damage you sustained in the accident. You must also prove that the accident was caused by the actions of another person.

Motorcycle accident pain and suffering examples include:

  • Physical pain from injuries
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Emotional distress
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium (companionship)
  • Inconvenience

If you have suffered any of these damages in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, you may deserve to be compensated for them. The goal of pain and suffering damages is to provide compensation for all the things you have suffered that don’t come with a dollar amount.

If you have any questions about what would be covered under the umbrella of pain and suffering, don’t hesitate to contact the motorcycle accident lawyers at Siegfried & Jensen.

Methods of Calculating Pain and Suffering Damages

Many factors may come to the fore when calculating a dollar amount to award for pain and suffering damages.

These factors may include:

  • The seriousness of the injuries
  • Recovery time
  • How the injuries impact the victim
  • Future medical costs
  • How much the victim’s life has been altered due to what he or she has suffered

Insurance companies will make their own assessments, but your lawyer can help you calculate your damages using one of the following two methods.

Multiplier method

In the multiplier method, the economic damages you are entitled to are added together and then multiplied. Usually, these are multiplied by a number between 1.5 and 5. The strength of the multiplier depends on the seriousness or permanency of the injuries, the recovery time and treatment plan, liability for the accident, and daily life disruption both now and in the future.

For example, if your motorcycle accident left you with $10,000 in economic damages and your injuries were assigned a multiplier of two, multiplying the economic damages by two would bring you to $20,000 in pain and suffering.

The multiplier method is fairly common yet may fail to take into account other factors specific to the victim. If the insurance company uses this method, they may only offer a multiplier matching a case with similar circumstances. Be sure to get sound legal advice before accepting any settlement offer.

Per diem method

The per diem method assigns each day of your recovery a specific dollar amount. This daily amount is usually calculated based on your daily wages and will continue for as long as your recovery is likely to last. For example, if a person makes $100 per day at work and his or her doctor says that recovery should take 30 days, then the damages due would be $3,000.

This method should cover every day from the day of the motorcycle accident until maximum medical recovery is likely to be reached. The amount can vary depending on the severity of the injuries, the details in the victims’ records, and the reliability of the estimated time to recover.

Insurance companies often use computer simulations to run their calculations. In many instances, the multiplier method may be more favorable, depending on your circumstances. The best way to know how to proceed in your pain and suffering calculations is to speak to a motorcycle accident attorney.

Why Calculating Pain and Suffering Is Different From Economic Damages

Economic damages are straightforward because they have a specific dollar amount already assigned to them. How much a replacement motorcycle costs, your initial medical bills, how many days you missed from work after your accident, and any medications you needed that were not covered by insurance – these all have a figure attached. Pain and suffering differ, though, because these are subjective damages that vary from person to person.

The other difference between economic and non-economic damages is the existence of documents, receipts, and records that already contain a dollar amount. With pain and suffering claims, the existence of receipts and bills is generally limited or non-existent. You may need to use other methods to prove your pain and suffering by compiling evidence with the help of a lawyer.

Examples of evidence could include:

  • Personal journals expressing emotions after the accident
  • Proof of mental health treatment for things you experienced due to the accident and your injuries
  • Written documents from family or friends that explain how your injuries have affected your daily life
  • Photos and videos of your life before the accident versus after the accident

Rest assured that if you have the right lawyer by your side, he or she will fight for your rights to get the pain and suffering compensation you deserve.

How Siegfried & Jensen Can Help Your Motorcycle Accident Case

At Siegfried & Jensen, we know that in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, you are likely feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what path to take. We have helped clients in circumstances like yours, and we want to give you the best chance possible at fair compensation. Part of that compensation could include damages for your pain and suffering.

We fight for our clients’ rights as we investigate their cases, collect evidence, interview witnesses, track their expenses, and negotiate with insurance companies on their behalf. We stand by each client every step of the way, and we keep them apprised of the status of their cases.

Our track record speaks for itself, with over 30 years serving the personal injury victims of Utah and having earned more than $1.2 billion in compensation for our clients. Let us also help you with your motorcycle accident case. Contact us at (801) 845-9000 or complete the online form to schedule your free consultation today.